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gavvin

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About gavvin

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  1. gavvin

    What about gay parents?

    Well, regardless of any clues, I would never assume that anyone was gay. Unless I was told told straight out by the person themselves, I would never know for certain and would not assume anything. In the case where I have been told by the person that they are, in fact, gay I would treat them just like any other parent with the exception that I would not attempt to recruit them into a leadership position. Unless someone is dead-set on being a problem, I think you will find that gays are people just like the rest of us and as parents they want to encourage thier kids to succeed and want to be there to share thier scouting experiences. In the case of problems, I would handle them as they occur on a case-by-case basis, usually starting with a talk on why particular behavior is not appropriate at scouting functions all the way to asking them not to return if they cannot act in a manner consistant with the setting in the most extreme cases. Hope this helps, Gavvin
  2. gavvin

    Marksmanship Merit Badge...

    I just went and looked at the new requirements.... YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING! have all the MB been watered down this much? If it is, it is no wonder registration is down. Kids WANT to be challenged. I never had much problem earning Rifle & Shotgun because long firearms came very natually to me, but I remember having to practise my rear off to get my Archery MB. I was very proud when I finally earned it too. Looks to me like any Cub Scout with his BB pin could earn this MB.
  3. We can trade quotes all day in an effort to support our pet theories that the founding fathers would/would not have supported the SCOTUS rulings and that our nation is/was a Christian nation and that the 10 Commandments are the basis for our laws. "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" -- George Washington (American commander in chief of the colonial armies in the American Revolution (1775-83) and subsequently 1st US President (1789-97), 1732-1799) *** "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries." -- James Madison (American 4th US President (1809-17), and one of the founding fathers of his country. 1751-1836) *** Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. Thomas Jefferson - Autobiography (1821), in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom *** "Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov' & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov' of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together" [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt] *** "Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives." --- Barry Goldwater *** "There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom. The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity. This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies." - Rabbi Sherwin Wine *** "Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov' & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov' of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together" [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt] *** "Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate." -- Ulysses S. Grant *** "...several of the first presidents, including Jefferson and Madison, generally refused to issue public prayers, despite importunings to do so. Under pressure, Madison relented in the War Of 1812, but held to his belief that chaplains shouldn't be appointed to the military or be allowed to open Congress." [Richard Shenkman, I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode Or Not] *** "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it" John Adams quotes (American 2nd US President (1797-1801), 1735-1826) *** Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law. Thomas Jefferson - Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper (February 10, 1814)
  4. I can already imagine the responses I will get to this, but here I go... I think that the posting of the Ten Commandments on govt. buildings and/or property is wrong. I applaud the SCOTUS decision to remove them from the courthouse and am disappointed that they can remain on other govt. property. The reasons for my feelings are many: 1) Those that wish them posted make the argument that they are the basis for our system of laws. I disagree. According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_law_(legal_system), our system of laws is based on Roman law, which admittedly, came after the 10 Commnadments, but bears little resemblance to them. In fact, It is more like the Code of Hammurabi http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/MESO/CODE.HTM Of the 10 Commandments, at least 4 are purely religious and of the other 6, only 3 are against the law in the USA and then only in certain circumstances. 3 out of 10 is hardly a basis for our entire legal system. 2) In my mind, posting such a document in a courthouse sends a message to all who do not follow the Judeo-Christian Bible that possibly justice is reserved only for Believers. 3) Assuming that neither of the above are true, which version of the 10 Commandments do you post? Accoring to www.religioustolerance.org , "There are three versions of the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). They are at Exodus 20:2-17, Exodus 34:12-26, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Exodus 20 is the most commonly used set. However, some faith groups may promote one of the other versions. There are more than 10 verses in the Exodus 20 version. Jews, Protestants and Roman Catholics have selected different formats for combining the 16 verses into 10 Commandments. A government or public school board may be entering a religious mine field when it attempts to reach a consensus on exactly what version and format to select." There are, of course, other problems with translations. Did God order us not to kill or not to commit murder? Shades of meaning in the original Hebrew translate to very different concepts in English. 4) If, after all of the above, you still feel that the 10 Commandments belong on govt. property, ask yourself how you would feel if the Wiccan Rede was posted alongside it. The Rede is the Wiccan version of the 10 Commandments (in that it is a guide on how to live) and reads, "An it harm none, do as ye will." After all, if one religious document can be posted on government property, it stands to reason that others can too. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally, I had written here a long message for all those who, after reading the above, wanted to question my faith, patriotism, honor, etc. Then I realized that those who are going to flame me will do so anyway and the rest of you didn't need to read it.
  5. Disclaimer: I have not read all the posts on this topic as I am short of time. If I post something that is redundant, please excuse me. I am an Eagle Scout, Gulf War Era veteran, father of 3, Asst Cubmaster, and against the proposed flag buring ammendment. Why? It is pretty much summed up by this anonymous quote, "I prefer someone who burns the flag and wraps himself in the Constitution to someone who burns the Constitution and wraps himself in the flag." or as Neal Boortz put it.. "Any law or Constitutional amendment barring burning of the U.S. Flag is an attack on political speech. I have never seen an instance of a flag burning where the person burning the flag was not making a political statement. Those political statements, whether we agree with them or not, deserve the full protection of our Constitution. Once you have singled out one particular form of political speech as a crime, how difficult is it to move down that road just a bit further ... first banning this and then that form of political speech?" If we start banning unpopular political speech, what makes us any different from Communist China? (that is a rhetorical question to which I already know the answer.)
  6. gavvin

    Looking For A Good Book

    I loved the Brother Cadfael books. I also Liked the PBS adaptation for Mystery! Sir Derek Jacobi is absolutely fantastic as brother cadfael.
  7. gavvin

    Looking For A Good Book

    I read a lot of Science Fiction and one of my all-time favorite authors is Robert Heinlein. Almost anything he wrote is worth reading. More recently, I have read a lot of military sci-fi and the two best in the business are David Weber with his Honor Harrington series (space navy) that starts with "On Basilisk Station" and John Ringo with his Alldenata series (powered armor marines) starting with "A Hymn Before Battle". Ringo is a veteran from the 82nd Airborne and it really shows in his writing. These two DID team up on a series that was really good as well. It is about a young man, a prince, and his company of marine body guards who are stranded on a planet about which very little is known. It is thier struggle to survive and , ultimately, return home with the prince in one piece. It starts with "March Upcountry". These last two authors write "hard" sci-fi, which is quite different from Star Trek or the space-opera style of Star Wars. I have been impressed enough to buy anything they publish as soon as it hits the shelf (and often before! I love Baen web-scriptions).
  8. gavvin

    How do you get the kids to wear the uniform?

    We have the same issue in our new pack. Our family are the only ones in full uniform. We even have some leaders that don't own a uniform shirt. I am doing a presentation when school starts back up about wearing the uniform. I am going to approach it from a pride standpoint. How boys should be proud to wear thier uniforms because uniforms tell the story of thier scouting career. How each and every little thing on the uniform has a story associated with it. I will use my own uniform as an example, since it has lots of doodads on it. I will point out my OA flap, knots, position patch, wood badge nameplate, neckerchief, philmont belt/buckle, etc. Then I will point out my sons' patch vests and talk briefly about starting one of thier own to sew thier stories on. I will also point out how great it is when an unknown scout/scouter walks up and sees something unfamiliar on thier uniform/vest and says, "That's cool! How did you get THAT?" We will also announce a uniform inspection with patches for those that pass. I hope this motivates them to show off thier uniforms whenever they can. As for the leaders..... I will be pointing out that the uniform is one of the methods and that we should be setting a good example. Sure they are expensive and uncomfortable, but we cannot expect the scouts to wear them if we won't.
  9. gavvin

    Hats Off???? or Hats On

    Unless you are in full uniform, you should remove your hat and place your hand over your heart. Activity shirts are not considered uniform. We had this issue come up one day at Wood Badge. It was so hot on our second weekend that the scoutmaster let us stay in activity shirts all day. At the flag ceremony there was some confusion over what to do. Afterward, it was explained to us.
  10. The Sunday Times - Britain - ******************************************************************************** ****** * June 12, 2005 Scouts granted right to dob-dob for Allah Colin Gray and Camillo Fracassini Recruits can forsake God and the Queen FOR Scouts, it has been as much a part of their movement as jamborees, woggles and the three-fingered salute. Now, after a century, the Scout Association has ditched its traditional pledge of loyalty to God and to the Queen in favour of a series of multicultural options. Muslim Scouts can opt to swear to Allah, while atheists can drop God altogether and budding republicans ! can pledge themselves to the state rather than the monarch. The pledge is taken by all Scouts on joining the movement, which was established in 1907. The new variations are intended to reflect the growing diversity of Britain. They represent a rejection of the muscular Christianity and love of monarchy espoused by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting. The changes have horrified some prominent former Scouts. Stephen Pound, the Labour MP and chairman of the all-party parliamentary Scout group, called the changes profoundly retrograde, uncalled for and potentially extremely divisive. The current pledge, based on that written by Baden-Powell, states: On my honour, I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout law. Under new guidelines issued to Scout leaders, Muslim Scouts as well as Beavers and Cubs, the grou! ps to which younger boys belong can pledge their duty to Allah < BR>and Hindu Scouts to their Dharma. Atheists can promise to live life in good moral standing. In addition, children who are not British but live here can promise to do their duty to the country in which I am now living instead of promising allegiance to the Queen. For republican recruits, there is the option of pledging duty to the state and the laws of the state. Members whose beliefs are not covered by any of the published alternatives can use other forms of wording agreed between their parents and the leader of their Scout group. Scouting is available to all faiths and, therefore, must take account of the different religious obligations of its members, the new guidelines state. To meet these circumstances, there are different forms of the Beaver Scout, Cub Scout and Scout promise that can be made, allowing for the individuals obligations while upholding the essential spirit ! of the promise. The phrase to love God and duty to God implies belief in a supreme being and the acceptance of divine guidance and therefore the word God can be replaced by Allah, my Dharma or others as appropriate to suit the faith or religion of the individual concerned. It is hoped the shift in policy will help to rid the association of its reputation for being mainly white, middle-class and Christian. The Girl Guides changed their pledge from God to my God more than a decade ago. Baden-Powell was inspired to found the Scouts after being impressed with the initiative shown by boys during the siege of the South African town of Mafeking in 1899-1900 during the Boer war. His first experimental camp was held on Brownsea Island off Poole in Dorset in 1907. There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation today, he wrote in his handb! ook, Scouting for Boys, published in 1908. Here in this j oyous brotherhood there is vast opportunity open to all in a happy work that shows results under your hands and a work that is worthwhile because it gives every man his chance of service for his fellow men and for God. Since then, however, scouting has developed into a worldwide movement covering most major religions. Out of 28m Scouts worldwide, a third are Muslim. There are also 2m Buddhist Scouts, 1m Hindus and 350,000 Sikhs. In Britain, 1% of the 400,000 Scouts are Muslim and in the past year 10 new troops have opened where most of the members are Muslim. These are in Cardiff, Luton and Manchester. The British Scout Association also has Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and Rastafarian members. Its great that the meaning of the Scout promise is acceptable to all faiths involved with scouting. As a Muslim, I can take my promise side-by-side with Christians, Sikhs and others, said Amir Cheema, lea! der of the predominantly Muslim 1st Bristol Scout Group. The Scout Associations activities fit perfectly to the community and family-orientated aspects of Islam. I particularly enjoy the interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim Scouts. Narinder Singh Birdi, joint group Scout leader at 13th Southall (Sikh) Group in London, added: I love scouting because it is so diverse and welcoming to all. It is flexible to fit everybodys needs and I find it sits hand in hand with Sikhism. The most important part of my faith is the Sikh uniform, scouting works in the same way. I wear my turban and my Scout scarf with pride. This shows the world that I live my life as a Sikh and as a Scout. Abandoning the traditional pledge is the latest in a long line of changes instituted by the association to modernise its image and appeal to a generation of children distracted by pop music, computer games and! the internet. While the movement whose former members inclu de Sir David Attenborough, David Beckham and Tony Benn is booming globally, the number of members in the UK has fallen from more than 650,000 in the 1980s. A spokesman for the Scout Association said: Young people of Scout age are trying to establish their own sense of personal identity and this includes developing their own beliefs and attitudes and a new and personal relationship with their God. The whole point is that the young people understand and believe what they are saying and, so long as there is a strong element of morality and duty and they agree to live their life in a good, progressive way, then the wording itself is open to discussion. Pound, however, said: Scouting is the biggest international youth organisation and what we are now doing is removing one of the central tenets of internationalism, uniformity and common ethos that we all had. The point about the promise ! is that you do your duty to God and the Queen. The minute you start to change that, you create divisions within scouting because there is no single, all-encompassing ethos. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-523-1650843,00.html
  11. gavvin

    Where is the Outrage?

    Backpacker: how how There is not a whole lot of difference between the two major parties anymore. Both want more of your money for thier pet projects and both don't want you to be informed about what's going on. Just keep sending them back to Washington so that they can playing thier games. As for major media..... It is true that most TV, movie, and newspapers are left leaning. Talk radio seems to be the one niche that liberals have a hard time with. I really have no problem with left or right leaning punditry, but I DO get upset when the so called News is spun in a particular direction consistantly. With the exception of Fox news, all other major news outlets seem to have a definite tilt to the left. Does Fox tilt to the right? Possibly. Maybe just being neutral LOOKS like the tilt to the right in comparison. Back to the original question - Why no outrage? The Right never seems to get outraged over what others think of them. They tend to get outraged only over certain issues (which I will NOT go into here!). The Left it seems is always looking for something to be outraged about. It is a victim mentality and it is encouraged by leaders on the Left. Before anyone gets upset and starts to flame me, let me say that I am neither Left nor Right and the above comments are from personal observation (they are truth for me). If they differe from your experiences, please feel free to share your insights.
  12. gavvin

    Wanted, information on Truth

    If you think THAT was strange, read Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy. You will never look at the world the same way again. Very good read, but very strange. A lot like Douglas Adams.
  13. gavvin

    Wanted, information on Truth

    Disclaimer: I am not a studied philosopher or schooled in logic There might well be no universal truths. Truth, in my thinking, is based on perception. If you ask all witnesses at a particular event what exactly happened, you are likely to get several different and possibly conflicting reports. Each of those stories is the truth as that person perceives it. Arguing with them to the contrary is usually futile as they "know what they saw" and any descrepancies are likely due to an error on your part. As a species, Humans tend not to trust any information that they do not experience first hand. Examples: Take a sniff of a particularly foul smelling item and say "That really stinks! You believe how bad that stinks!" and then hand it to your friend. Most likely, they will also sniff it just to verifiy the accurracy of your statement. It is not truth to them until they experience it. The existance/non-existance of God is NOT a truth for anyone living on this Earth. It is a belief. It is a very powerful belief for some but the existance of God cannot be experienced. It can be postulated, believed, sought, refuted, extrapolated, and imagined, but not experienced. Those who say they have "experienced God" have only had an experience that deepens thier belief. Perception as truth is very powerful. Something does not have to be factual for it to be a truth. To a person who perceives you dishonorable or untrustworthy, you ARE dishonorable and/or untrustworthy. This perception need not be based on any facts for it to be a truth for that person.
  14. gavvin

    About the Moderator Team

    Good Luck to all the new moderators. May your duties be light and your enjoyment high.
  15. gavvin

    Lightweight camping

    I use the bungie cords that secure my sleeping bag and tent to secure the pack to a tree and then put a cover over the pack.
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